Racial Disparities in Incarceration

Research by scholars, policy makers, and activists has documented racial disparities throughout the American criminal justice system. As of 2021, Black people made up 4% of Lancaster County’s total population, but 20% of its prison population. How do today’s statistics compare to historical trends? LancasterHistory’s collections include annual reports for the Lancaster County Prison that date back to 1851. These reports contain information on the people incarcerated, including statistics about gender and race, but the data has not yet been analyzed. 

If you’re interested in helping us transcribe the information in these reports, contact Dr. Mabel Rosenheck, Director of Education & Exhibition Planning, at LancasterHistory at mabel.rosenheck@lancasterhistory.org.

Source: Vera Institute of Justice, March 2021